Using Your Cameras Exposure Controls

Cameras have four modes for setting exposure, though many models do not offer all of them.

■ Auto mode is the one option that every camera has (except some very high-end studio units). Just point your camera at your subject, lock the exposure and focus, compose, and shoot. Even pros occasionally use auto-exposure, usually with very satisfactory results.

■ Aperture priority mode allows you to choose your f -stop, and your camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed to give you what it believes is the correct exposure. Use aperture priority when you want to control your depth of field.

■ Shutter priority allows you to choose your shutter speed, and your camera will automatically adjust the f-stop accordingly. Use shutter priority when you want to control how the picture will handle movement or action (including the need to minimize hand shaking).

■ Manual exposure hands total control over to the photographer. You set both the f -stop and shutter speed, though the camera will generally inform you if it thinks that you have set it for an under- or overexposed image.

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